As a marketer, you may feel that getting anyone to buy anything at all is hard enough. What happens when you build a company entirely around something people don’t really want anyway? Maybe you sell memberships to the local gym. Maybe you provide tax services or software to help people manage their money. What happens then?

The problem isn’t that people don’t want to get fit and keep their finances under control; the problem is that most prefer Ben & Jerry’s and shopping marathons. We’ll all put off things we need in order to get the things we want. It’s just a part of life. So, how can you get around this particular part of human nature and successfully market your products and services?

Temptation bundling.

What Is Temptation Bundling?

Basically, a study showed that people were willing to pay researchers to take away their e-readers, only to give them back when they use the treadmill or the elliptical machine at the gym. In other words, they’ll pay extra for the thing they really want if it gets them through the stuff they don’t. The really good is paired with the not so good, and consumers will suffer through the thing they don’t want to get to their reward.

The thing is, people know they need the things they don’t want to buy—those gym memberships, diet supplements, financial assistance, etc. We know we need to help clean up the environment, donate to worthy causes, and about a million other things that we put off every day. If your company focuses on any of these things we procrastinate, you can put temptation bundling to work.

Putting Temptation Bundling to Work

Just as the tactic sounds, temptation bundling means you pair the thing buyers try to avoid with something they really want. That makes those buyers more likely to take the leap. You can do this in several ways, so consider carefully before you begin your campaign. While you do want to entice your buyers, you don’t want to cancel out the benefits of your products. That means the earlier allusion to Ben & Jerry’s is moot if you’re selling fitness services.

An iPod, however, might be the perfect pair with a gym membership. Give those new users something to listen to while they run on the treadmill, and you’ll see them line up with money in hand. Consider the products or services that may pair perfectly with the items you sell. You’ll find a match that will help to boost your sales and get your buyers moving down the right road.

Whether you make the pairing permanent or run a special promotion is up to you. You can create beautiful partnerships with other brands and support each other’s endeavors, which can also help you strengthen your relationships with your customers.

What temptations have prompted you to purchase items you may have been avoiding? We’d love to know how temptation bundling has worked with you in the past, so leave us a comment!

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